1 of 10 The quality of Sam Mendes’ film charting the marriage of a 1950s couple, played beautifully by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, is not to be denied but this is far from a cheerful watch. On an already depressing day, the last thing you want is a raw, unflinching portrayal of the death of youth, hopes and naivete in the face of grudging domestic and financial toil. The fact that Mendes split from his then wife Winslet following the making of the film doesn’t inspire hope either. Paramount The quality of Sam Mendes’ film charting the marriage of a 1950s couple, played beautifully by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, is not to be denied but this is far from a cheerful watch. On an already depressing day, the last thing you want is a raw, unflinching portrayal of the death of youth, hopes and naivete in the face of grudging domestic and financial toil. The fact that Mendes split from his then wife Winslet following the making of the film doesn’t inspire hope either. Paramount It all starts so well. Darren Aaronofsky’s cult hit follows a bunch of hip youngsters as they enjoy the free reign of drugs and alcohol and dance around other suitably beautiful people. Then addiction takes hold and things get bad, then worse, then so bad that the final wrenching 10 minutes of the film leave many audiences praising its skill and quality, while pledging never to watch it again. Artisan Entertainment The repression has hit everyone. Some harder than others. This excellent documentary, skewering the corrupt and thoughtless corporations that crippled the US economy works well as a generator of political outrage. However pervading it all is the overwhelming feeling that they have escaped and will continue to escape proper punishment. Leaving the rest of us shaking our fists as we eat our budget noodles. Sony Pictures Classics The Golden Gate Bridge. A spectacular example of man’s engineering achievements and a site that attracts thousands of tourists every day. It is also a place where a huge number of people go to take their own lives. Documentary maker Eric Steel decided to make a film looking at what it is about the bridge that draws so many who feel life has nothing left to give them. Steel goes so far as to film several suicides. A powerful expose of the lack of support given to the suicidal, or an exploitative snuff film? Whatever camp you fall into, you are guaranteed not to have a smile on your face. First Stripe Productions Surely not? What could be more cheerful than another adventure of Woody and Buzz and the gang? It’s true that most of this Pixar classic is a joyous chorus of action and comedy. Underneath it all, however, lies the central message of toys coming face to face with the inevitability of decay and death. There’s a reason the film didn’t leave a dry eye in the house - adults across the world realised they weren’t children any more ... and they never will be. Pixar Revolving around such a simple concept, Blindness is a devastating watch. Everyone in the world loses their sight. The result? Violence, rape and all manner of human degradation as the very fabric of society comes untethered. On an already dark day this reminder that something most of us know and hold dear is so delicately poised above anarchy is a profoundly sobering thought. Miramax There are few things quite as upsetting as an innocent child failing to understand some of the horrific truths of existence. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas takes that very thought and then destroys audiences with a single image. Two boys making friends, one inside a concentration camp, one outside. To say the result doesn’t leave you with a skip in your step is an understatement. Miramax Paul Greengrass had many people crying 'too soon' when he announced plans to document the lives of the passengers who made the ultimate sacrifice to stop their flight making it to its destination on September 11. Running almost constantly on an atmosphere of terror and adrenaline, it’s a powerful watch. The inevitability of the outcome, coupled with the knowledge of those planes that did hit their targets, makes United 93 a nightmare in real time. Universal Pictures Clint Eastwood doesn’t cry. That is a rule that all fans of the granite edifice of masculinity that Eastwood represents hold to. But it is a rule that is broken in this heart-wrenching Oscar-winning drama that takes the convention of a sports film and slowly grinds it into the ground with a boot heel. Warner Bros An adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s spectacularly bleak novel would always struggle to accurately visualise the devastation and dirt of a post-apocalyptic world, yet somehow they managed it. Viggo Mortenson and his painfully innocent son trudge the road, dodging cannibals, fighting starvation and illness, simply living for living’s sake. A depressing glimpse at an endgame humanity is all too capable of bringing about. The Weinstein Co/Dimension
Blue Monday is the unfortunate moniker given to 16 January, the most depressing day of the year. Everyone has run out of money, warmth and festive cheer. Cheering up with a film seems like a good idea but even then you need to be careful.
International Business Times UK gives you the 10 films best avoided on this darkest of days.